The Big Ten HAS to Change Title Game Rules for Ohio State

Ohio State’s season is on the brink right now. If they miss this week’s game against Michigan State, they will be ineligible for the Big Ten Championship Game. The Big Ten has a gigantic conundrum on their hands here. The Buckeyes are clearly the best team in the Big Ten East and the best chance the conference has of making the College Football Playoff. It’s clear and obvious that the conference should bend their rules to accommodate the Buckeyes, if it comes down to it.

Dan Patrick, who has had his finger on the pulse of the conference since August, said this morning that Ohio State will be “desperate” to get this game in because of the ramifications, but that there’s “strong speculation” it will be canceled due to a high number of players being out:

If the 4-0 Buckeyes can’t play the game this weekend, the Big Ten needs to amend its rules requiring teams to play six games to qualify for the conference title game. With the exception of Indiana, every other team in the East division has at least two losses. The Buckeyes beat the Hoosiers head-to-head, and Indiana’s quarterback Michael Penix Jr. reportedly suffered a lower leg injury against Maryland this past Saturday and is expected to miss the remainder of the season.

Ohio State vs. Michigan, scheduled for December 12, may also be in jeopardy, as the Wolverines have now paused team activities due to possible positive tests.

2020 requires flexibility. It would be far more unjust for Ohio State to miss out on the Big Ten Championship Game because of COVID-19 missed games than it would be to change the rule for them.

An interesting wrinkle, if the Big Ten did change the rules for the Buckeyes, is that doing so would also open the door a sliver for my alma mater, Wisconsin, to qualify as well. The Badgers already missed three games this season and thus are ineligible for the Championship Game under current rules.

Unlike Ohio State, Wisconsin (2-1) cannot claim to be the best team in the conference. However, if Northwestern were to lose one of its final two games to Minnesota or Illinois (their game against Minnesota possibly getting canceled this week notwithstanding) and Wisconsin were to beat Indiana and Iowa, the Badgers would have a better winning percentage than the Wildcats, despite losing head-to-head.

The main point here is that it would be a grave miscarriage of justice if Ohio State goes undefeated but does not play in the Big Ten Championship Game. It would also be a much less interesting TV show. If Ohio State can’t play this week, the conference needs to be flexible with the rules.

Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.


Leave a Reply
  1. Why change the rule to accommodate Ohio St? If there was an issue with the rule, that issue should have been resolved before the season started. It seems as though the rule was put in to specifically avoid a situation like this…one team does not play enough games (but finishes 1-0!!!) and their record is better than a team that finishes 7-1. Regardless what the eye test is telling you, if there was an issue with the rule, it should have been worked out before it became an issue.

  2. Total BS! Change the rules because our best team is penalized by them! Oh, and we won’t get the money from being in the Championship 4!!!!!!!

    The B1G f’ed this up from day one. Live by the consequences you Coronabro morons.

  3. I agree with the first four posters. Don’t change the rules because it’s Ohio State. It’s THE CONFERENCE’S fault that their situation is so f’d up. But, seeing how bad they messed things up, they’ll probably mess up some more and change their rules on the fly. BS all the way around.

Leave a Reply